Sunday, 25 September 2011

A Giveaway

The Twelve Days of Christmas  ornaments are now all finished - well still to be constructed - but I am pleased to have the stitching all done.   What I want to do is offer the chart to a good home so if anyone would like these charts to stitch then please leave a comment on this post.   On 1 October I will get out Grandma's bowl and have the HDHBEM choose one person.

And in a case of 'finish one start two', I have begun the Brooke's Books Bride Tree Ornaments and a piece of pulled thread work.   Photos to follow when there is more progress to show!
It has been a wet day here and we are short one hour as Daylight Saving Time has started.  Well have a good week everyone.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

A visit to the Golden Arches

Hi there everyone.   Today my hostess brushed my dress, made sure I was tidy and told me we were going out.   Now what's a girl to think?   I wondered if I was off to meet the boy friend -  well in a way I was!  Her friend Ronald.

We drove up to those famous Golden Arches and I squealed, "you have those here too".   Stupid really.   We all know they are everywhere.   Turns out her friend Ronald McDonald has lots of his places all round this country.   We went to one at Royal Oak.   No Queen, no King and definitely no Oak!!
On our way into the place she mentioned we were having Kiwi Burger.  Another squeal from me!   "You mean you eat those cute little feathery no-fly birds?"    I consulted Kiwi who was with us.

Again stupid really....turns out that these New Zealanders call anything they make a Kiwi product, hence Kiwi Burger.
Another strange thing ... these Kiwi Burgers aren't available all the time.   I seem to be considered lucky I am visiting while these things are on special promotion!

Now can you see the box says "freshly made just for you" -  she ate the whole lot!   I didn't get to taste one bit.   But she pronounced it OK and then said "I know why I don't eat McDonalds much".   Maybe Ronald McDonald isn't a really close friend?!
Anyway, I asked what made these burgers Kiwi and she told me its because of what's in them -  a beef pattie, an egg, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, tomato sauce, mustard and beetroot.   I'm totally underwhelmed -  such a fuss over a burger!

 Not wanting to seem impertinent but in order to prepare myself I enquired where we might be going next.  Seems there's a place called Devonport just across the harbour and we will go by ferry boat next Saturday.   I'm looking forward to that so must be off to sort out my nautical outfit to wear.
Tonight the New Zealand Rugby Team - those All Blacks - are playing France at Eden Park just down the road from here.   It will be loud so I have requested ear plugs and plan on having an early night.   A girl needs her beauty sleep you know.
Talk to you all again soon.   Ka Kite Anou

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

An answer for Adele

Good evening all.   Adele was asking for a close up shot of the whitework panel in "my masterpiece".   I see that I had only one shot..... this one

Not very good is it???   So I very carefully took this one through the glass of the completed sampler.

This one isn't very good either.   Oh dear.
And so Adele, I hope that helps.   I seemed to take so many photographs of the progress of this sampler but obviously didn't get every element!  
I'd highly recommend this sampler to anyone -  see The Gift of Stitching site for details
Well I'm off now to do my dinner dishes and then to complete the final ornament in my "12 days of Christmas" series.
Talk to you all again at the weekend.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

My masterpiece is now on display!!

While away with Madame Muriel recently, I called at the lovely Sarah's and collected my masterpiece.

 It is now hanging on the wall of my lounge directly opposite my stitching chair where I can enjoy viewing it.   Even though it was months in progress I have never tired of this piece and still delight in it and in the knowledge I gained from the fantastic notes accompanying the chart.   Many thanks to Gift of Stitching!

The 12 Days of Christmas are almost complete -  only the 12th day to go now.  I intend to finish these as individual tree ornaments for niece number three.  I'm very pleased that for these I used up left over linen and floss from my stash.

Here's a close up of the 11th day -  but only two drummers!!   This series are numerically challenged.  And size wise they are not totally satisfying as all are different sizes and many are different shapes -  but in the charts there are historical notes about this "rhyme" which makes interesting reading as well as stitching.   Once I have finished these I intend to pass on the charts so have a think about whether or not you would like this set.   I'll let you know later when the draw is to be held.

I had a diversion this week with a couple of gifts to stitch.   These are now done and will go on their journey this week so it is back to my normal stitching routine.   Brooks Books "Brides Tree Ornaments are next on the list and I have tacked up the linen for those.   I intend to finish them as a table runner for niece number two - probably for Christmas 2012!!

There have been other diversions too.   The blog that first introduced me to this wonderful world of needlework blogging is Dani of  The Peacock's Feather and through Dani I found "Stuck in A Book" and Simon has revived my addiction to libraries and second hand book shops and extended the scope of my reading too!   But in all fairness I should say that I was not at all reluctant!   Through him I have revived my love affair with Lord Peter Wimsey;  been seduced into total silence as I read Mr Briggs Hat; etc etc. Anyway this afternoon the HDHBEM and I went out to a nearby suburb where lurks the Hard To Find Book Shop.   Now I cannot make up my mind whether it is the books that are hard to find or is it the bookshop?  
Inside this tiny store is a labyrinth of bookshelves, precarious looking ladders, stacks of books - all old but some ancient-  a sleeping cat and two armchairs in which reside lifesize stockinette dolls dressed as old men and reading books!

Only a shortage of time and a knowledge that I had been to the library twice last week prevented my haul from being larger than this!!

Currently beside my bed I have the following.....
and these ....

The BBC World Book Club has to hold some responsibilty for the top two of this pile but "The Earth Hums in b Flat" is totally the result of my daily dose of "Stuck in a Book".

No prizes for guessing how my evenings are spent!   My only problems are that the evenings are never long enough.

So its good night to all now as I was my dinner dishes, prepare my lunch box for tomorrow and complete the final Christmas ornament.   Have a great evening everyone.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

At last - sheep and lambs

Hello again
If you remember she told me that Spring in New Zealand always means daffodils and lambs.  Well it is Spring and on our road trip we saw lots and lots of both.  Its a great colour combination and my artistic eye thought that verdant green, egg yolk yellow and pristine white go well together.   Ha ha ha!
I was really persistent in making sure she took photographs and here's a collage of the cute little fluffy lambs.   Most of the mother sheep had triplets or twins which the HDHBEM tells me makes the farmer man happy.   I felt rather sorry for the mother sheep though - those little lambs are Very Energetic!
Lots of sheep means lots of wool and New Zealanders like knitting, almost as much as they like quilting, needlework and rugby!
The HDHBEM knits and knits and knits -  and on our trip she saw this sign.   I thought she was supposed to have poor sight but when I murmured something to that effect, she sternly told me that those letters were bigger than the top line of the Opthalmologists chart and she can read that!
 I also said it looked like another cafe but there was no dissuading the HDHBEM.   Here's a photo of the outside - it does look like a cafe doesn't it?

But inside is a knitters paradise.   The HDHBEM was in knitter heaven and when we came out we had two huge bags of wool.   Increased stash for HDHBEM.   Happy smiles for the shop assistant -  hope she was on commission!!  

Here's a view of some of  the stash.   Apparently my hostess is to help skein these hanks - I'm really thankful my hands are too small as there's a lot of work ahead.

In the good old days when she only knew about big needles, my hostess used to knit too.   One of her friends was rude enough to draw this cartoon of her

and when I laughed too much she set up a photo shoot for me with my friend Mr Merino.   Tee hee!   I am a real New Zealander now!!  Look at me knitting - straight off the sheeps back!

And just to let you know -  this road trip has really tired me out so I am going to settle in my little sleeping pod and rest for a few days.   She said to tell you that there are still some other places she wants to visit and that I am not to book my tickets just yet.   Besides which the accompanying luggage is still not completely sorted out, and my next hostess hasn't been decided so I am happily staying here in New Zealand a little longer.
Anyway Ka Kite Anou to you all.

Monday, 12 September 2011

A Road Trip to visit Little Brother

Gidday Mate!   She and the HDHBEM took me on a road trip to visit the Little Brother on his Mini Farm.   What a trip -  I travelled well in the travel pod that Stewey provided for me and every so often she took me out for a photo opportunity.   Celebrity status I assure you.
Here we are on our way leaving home. 

HDHBEM had to stop at the opthalmologist on the way and there were no photos there, of me anyway.   My hostess looked at the photos of the HDHBEM's eyes and discussed everything with the kind doctor but I didn't understand a word.   All seems to be well though.
A quick stop for petrol and we were away.

This country has lots of green fields and animals but also a giant apple !!

We travelled past these alpacas

Mt Ruapehu is an active volcano in the middle of the North Island and this deer farm was near there.  

Oh dear or dear  she had promised to show me lambs but so far nothing.   My diminutive size meant I couldn't see out the windows too well but I trusted her to fulfill her promise!

Finally we arrived at our first night stay.   A small town called Taihape.  Famous for .... gumboots!   Once a year they have a great Gumboot Throwing Competition -  how strange is that.   Anyway, here we stayed.   Look at my huge bed. 

When I commented on the extreme size and said I felt lost in all this space, she asked me if I'd rather stay here?!?!

The HDHBEM took me and her to Gumboot Manor for dinner.  Cute table number!   Big meal but enjoyed by all.

We went to the LNS, aptly named The Quilted Gumboot.   And....they had quilted gumboots. Look, look, look!

She bought some goodies here for me to take to my next hostess.   It's exciting going shopping with her and I think I have caught a New Zealand Disease -  "spending other peoples money syndrome".   I discussed this with the HDHBEM and she told me there is no known cure for that disease but in some cases it is confused with generosity.   The HDHBEM told me that my previous hostesses had the generosity variant but she wasn't too happy to commit about this one!

Finally we got to Little Brother's mini-farm.   I'm absolutely sure she said Little Brother but I made her take this photograph as it seems I must have misunderstood and she said Little Mother.   Look at the two of them together!!

He was really kind to me and even though he chortled at my many names he held me up for a view over the fields

and took me on a walk to meet his calves.  

Strange though, all of them are boy calves and they aren't so popular with dairy farmers.   They get called Bobby and end up at one year old being meat on a plate.  Little Brother has five Bobbys -  one is for him, one for the neighbour and three are for the works.   I don't know what he means by that - maybe only those three get roast vegetables and mint sauce added?

On the way home we had some beautiful Tip Top icecream -  I looooove New Zealand ice cream.   The HDHBEM has Apricot Ripple and she had Spicy Apple Crumble and I ..... well I just looked on with envy.

The hot chocolates come with extras  -  I tell myself that a lick on the lips is a lifetime on the hips but everytime I yield to temptation.   Those little red balls are called Jaffas -  chocolate on the inside and orange on the outside.
Well I think that has to be all for tonight.   I'm feeling tired and need to regain my strength.   She tells me there is a photo shoot tomorrow and I am required as model.   Whatever can that be?
Anyway, good night to all.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A Bus Trip to the City

Good afternoon all.  

Today my hostess and I took a bus ride to The City.   She had to go and choose new spectacles and I was taken to see some of the city sights.  

We walked down the streets past the Old Art Gallery which is joined to the New Art Gallery.   She wouldn't take me inside even though I asked to see the huge flowers hanging from the ceiling in the foyer.   No time today, she said and promised we would see some street art instead.
Interesting variety of street art in Auckland.
One street had seats with words on them so that from the end nearest the Public Library with WORD

one letter per seat changed until you reached the other end near some cafes where the seat was DEED.

I liked that one - it made sense.   Word, Wore, Lore, Lord, Load, Lead, Head, Heed, Deed - very intelligent!! Turn Word into Deed  ha ha!
Not like this silver bead thingy,

or this warrior,

or this yellow knot,

or this statue of the first Governor General,

or this "front of a canoe"

This blue braille installation was in the foyer of a high rise building - she found a plaque which told me what it said as she can't read braille but it was a Maori legend and didn't make much sense to me.

Queen Street is their main street and it runs from the sea up the hill. 

Down by the sea is all activity at the moment as they are preparing for a big party and fireworks on Friday night when that Rugby World Cup finally starts.   I was worried they might be using this rugby ball to play with but she told me not to be silly!!

She's very worried I don't have suitable footwear but there's nothing to my taste nor my size in any of the shops.  Colorful shoes in this one though.  
And flags everywhere , all over the city.    On the way home I saw this from the bus window

and felt just a tiny bit homesick.   But tomorrow she and I and the HDHBEM are on our way south for a visit to Little Brother on his farm.   She's charging her camera batteries as I write this so I will do another blog post on my return.
Ka Kite Anou